Design History

Introduction:

The idea of inflatable floats is not new.  Various designs have been used in commercial and military applications for years with proven ability to withstand a pounding from rough water conditions. From Navy Seals with inflatable boats beaching on rocky shores to commercial helicopters serving in unfriendly remote terrain, inflatable floats succeed in the most demanding applications.


Recreational aircraft:

Full Lotus Manufacturing has been making floats for the sport aviation community since 1985.

With extensive knowledge and experience in fabrics, structural engineering, manufacturing, lightweight air retention membranes technology and rotational molding, Full Lotus Manufacturing has established itself as the leader in inflatable floats and amphibian systems for both recreational fixed and rotary wing aircraft.

First developed and tested on the original Beaver ultralight designs, the Full Lotus products line has continued to expand to six sizes supporting displacements up to 2600 lb. (1182 kg) and mounting systems for most popular aircraft designs.

What makes the design so successful?

Full Lotus Float systems are tough.  Inflatable bladders installed inside a two layer outer casing and polycarbonate protective shell, Full Lotus Manufacturing has tested tough to a new level. The floats have been dragged across gravel roads behind a pick up truck, pounded with a sledge hammer, driven over by trucks and driven around a lake with an outboard motor attached to simulate more accumulated wear and tear than the typical owner will ever subject them to.  The end result is a float system that can be beached on rocky shores without worry and bump most submerged objects at taxiing speed without damage. If a more severe event causes damage, as many as ½ of the internal floatation bladders could be punctured with the remainder sustaining buoyancy.

Full Lotus Floats are lightweight.  Although the total weight is dependant on aircraft type and specific float model, typical installation will weigh around 130 pounds complete; ideal for most recreational aircraft on the market today.

Full Lotus Floats are easy to Repair.  Should a puncture occur, the modular air bladder design can be repaired or replaced in minutes.  The shock absorbing ability of the Full Lotus design not only protects the airframe against damage but has been credited with saving at least six lives because of the capacity of the float to absorb hard impacts much like an airbag

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